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Four New York organizations among 29 nationwide to receive first Brownfields Job Training grants funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

NEW YORK – St. Nick’s Alliance, The Fortune Society, The HOPE Program, and the City of Rochester are among 29 organizations nationwide receiving $14.3 million through EPA’s Brownfields Job Training Program to recruit, train and place workers for community revitalization and cleanup projects at brownfield sites. The four organizations will get a total of $2 million in grants for job training funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding triples the amount normally granted by EPA for Brownfields job training, ensuring stronger environmental benefits and more economic opportunities in overburdened and underserved areas.

“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is supercharging EPA’s Brownfields Program, which is transforming blighted sites, protecting public health, and creating economic opportunities in more overburdened communities than ever before,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. “The investments announced today will not only support the cleanup of some of our nation’s most polluted areas, but they will also equip a new generation of workers to take on the significant environmental challenges that plague overburdened neighborhoods, and jumpstart sustainable, long-term careers in the communities that need these jobs the most.”

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law we’re providing more money than ever before to programs that make a real difference for people and the planet, bringing environmental justice to New York communities that have been traditionally overlooked,” said EPA Region 2 Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “When people have the right tools and the right skills, they can get long-term employment doing work that helps reimagine and revitalize their communities.”

Today’s selected grant recipients will each receive $500,000. The New York organizations are St. Nicks Alliance, The Fortune Society, The HOPE Program and the City of Rochester. All are previous recipients of EPA Brownfields Job Training Grants.

St. Nicks Alliance will use the funding to train 120 students from North and Central Brooklyn and place at least 96 in environmental jobs. The training program includes 160 hours of instruction in 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training, Introduction to Environmental Industry, OSHA Construction Health and Safety, among others. Students who complete the training will earn up to one state and six federal certifications. This will be St. Nick’s Alliance’s ninth grant under the EPA Brownfields Job Training grants program, totaling over $2.3 million in funding.

“The EPA supported Environmental Remediation Technician is our longest running training with over 20 years of success, creating many living wage jobs. This job training grant allows us to meet the growing demands for local brownfield remediation and to better support all phases of a construction project with our Environmental Remediation Technician training, which includes the HAZWOPER-40, 8-Hour Confined Space, Asbestos Handler, OSHA 40, and optional certification in Mold or Lead Remediation,” said St. Nick’s Alliance Executive Director Michael Rochford. “We are thankful to the EPA and our local congressional representatives Nydia Velázquez and Hakeem Jeffries for their continued support.” 

The Fortune Society will provide certification-based training in New York City to nearly 100 formerly incarcerated individuals and place at least 57 in environmental jobs. The program includes training required to work on Brownfield cleanups, including 40-Hour HAZWOPER, EPA Lead Renovation, Repair, and Repainting, OSHA Construction Industry Health and Safety Program, among many others. Students who complete the training will earn up to two state and five federal certifications. This will be The Fortune Society’s sixth grant under the EPA Brownfields Job Training program, totaling over $1.5 million in funding.

“The Fortune Society is truly grateful to the EPA for supporting our job training program. This grant will help our organization support justice-involved individuals in giving back to their communities while at the same time helping to improve the environment,” said The Fortune Society Deputy CEO Stanley Richards. “This is a wonderful opportunity for formerly incarcerated individuals to find meaningful employment that will not only benefit their families but provide them with a path to success.”

The HOPE program will use the funding to train up to 110 South Bronx residents and place at least 60 in environmental jobs. The training program includes 107 hours of instruction in 40-Hour HAZWOPER, Asbestos Handler, and BPI Multi-Family Building Operator. Students who complete the training will earn up to one state and two federal certifications. Job training program participants also receive instruction in digital, financial, and environmental literacy, work wellness, and green construction.  This will be The HOPE Program’s third grant under the EPA Brownfields Job Training, totaling nearly $1 million in funding.

“HOPE is beyond grateful for our continued partnership, which allows us to provide green jobs training and wraparound services to New Yorkers in under-resourced communities,” said The HOPE Program Chief Program Officer Ana Chapman. “Thanks to support from the EPA, HOPE jobseekers will achieve career-building credentials that help them build family-sustaining careers while tackling environmental issues.”

The City of Rochester will establish a new Brownfields Environmental Skills Training program, which will build upon the success of the Rochester Environmental Job (REJob) program. The program will train up to 100 individuals and place at least 82 in environmental jobs. The training includes 40-Hour HAZWOPER, Asbestos Handler/Worker Certification, Air Monitor/Asbestos Project Monitor Certification, OSHA 10-hour Construction Site Safety, and Construction Inspection. Students who complete the training will earn up to one state and three federal certifications. This is the City of Rochester’s fourth grant under the EPA Brownfields Job Training program, totaling $1.1 million in funding.

“The City of Rochester is thankful to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for supporting our goal of making Rochester a green, sustainable community while providing jobs to our residents that will enhance the neighborhoods in which they live,” said Mayor Malik D. Evans. “Cleaning up brownfields in our community for future investment and supplying the environmental-construction field with a trained workforce will greatly enhance our efforts to create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester where everyone can reach their full potential through personal, professional and generational growth.”               

President Biden’s leadership and bipartisan Congressional action have delivered the single-largest investment in U.S. brownfields infrastructure ever through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invests more than $1.5 billion over five years through EPA’s highly successful Brownfields Program. This historic investment enables EPA to fund more communities, states, and Tribes, and provides the opportunity for grantees to build and enhance the environmental curriculum in job training programs that support job creation and community revitalization.

The Brownfields Job Training Program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to disadvantaged communities. Based on data from the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, approximately 97 percent of the communities selected to receive funding as part of today’s announcement have proposed projects in historically underserved areas.

Individuals completing a job training program funded by the EPA often overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many trainees are from historically underserved neighborhoods or reside in areas that are overburdened by pollution.

Graduates of Brownfields Job Training programs learn valuable, sought-after skills and have the opportunity to earn a variety of certifications, ensuring employment opportunities result not just in temporary contractual work, but in long-term environmental careers. This includes certifications in:

  • Lead and asbestos abatement,
  • Hazardous waste operations and emergency response,
  • Mold remediation,
  • Environmental sampling and analysis, and
  • Other environmental health and safety training


Brownfields Job Training (JT) grants allow nonprofits, local governments, and other organizations to recruit, train, and place unemployed and under-employed residents of areas affected by the presence of brownfield sites. Through the JT Program, graduates develop the skills needed to secure full-time, sustainable employment in various aspects of hazardous and solid waste management and within the larger environmental field, including sustainable cleanup and reuse, and chemical safety. These green jobs reduce environmental contamination and build more sustainable futures for communities.

Since 1998, the EPA has awarded 371 Brownfields Job Training grants. With these grants, more than 20,341 individuals have completed trainings and over 15,168 individuals have been placed in careers related to land remediation and environmental health and safety.

For more information on the selected Brownfields Job Training grant recipients, including past grant recipients, please visit the Brownfields Grant Fact Sheet Search

For more information on this, and other types of Brownfields Program grants, please visit the Brownfields Job Training Grants webpage.

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